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Monday, December 14, 2009

Egg Nog French Toast

Here is another delicious option for Christmas breakfast. All of my kids go crazy over anything eggnog so when I spotted this recipe I knew I had to make it for them. This reminded me of a Monte Cristo (one of my favorite sandwiches) with the sweet, & rich & french toast , the crisp, salty bacon and the sweet confectioners sugar. You can easily leave out the bacon if that's not something you think you would like. I wanted to go all out so I made the eggnog bread . It was actually really easy.You can substitute Texas toast if you don't feel like making the bread. Don't let the long directions scare you. It actually comes together pretty easily.

Eggnog French Toast
King Arthur Flour

Eggnog Bread:
3 cups (12 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
1/2 cup (4 ounces) eggnog
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla OR 1/4 teaspoon eggnog flavor (optional)

1 pound bacon, fried or oven-baked till crisp

3 1/2 cups (28 ounces) eggnog
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon eggnog flavor (optional)

Manual/Mixer Method: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to form a cohesive mass. Knead the dough, by hand (on a lightly oiled work surface) or machine, for 5 to 8 minutes, until it's smooth and supple. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, or until it's puffy. Don’t worry about it doubling in bulk, because it probably won’t.

Bread machine method: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. About 7 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, check the dough’s consistency; it should have formed a smooth ball. Adjust its consistency with additional flour or water, as necessary. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Nestle it into a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover it (with a proof cover or greased plastic wrap), and allow the loaf to rise for about 30 to 45 minutes, till it’s crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan. Note: This bread rises fairly slowly during its first rise, but seems to gather a head of steam and rise quickly once it’s in the pan.Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove it from the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool it completely on a rack. Yield: 1 loaf, about 16 servings. Ideally, the bread for baked French toast should be a bit stale. Either make this bread a few days ahead and let it get stale naturally, or cut 1/2-inch slices early on the day you want to assemble the French toast, lay them on a baking sheet or other flat surface, and let them dry out a little, at room temperature, over the course of the day.

Assembly: The night before you want to serve the French toast, arrange six 1/2-inch slices of bread in a heavily buttered 9 x 13-inch pan. You’ll probably need to “cut and paste” here; it’s unlikely the slices will fit perfectly into the pan. The point is simply to line the bottom of the pan with half the bread. Layer the bacon atop the bread, then top with the remaining bread slices. Whisk together the eggnog, eggs, sugar, and flavoring (if you’re using it), then pour it evenly over the bread in the pan. Push the bread down into the custard. Cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight. Baking: Next day, remove the French toast from the refrigerator, and let it rest at room temperature while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Uncover it, and bake it for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and it’s set. Remove the French toast from the oven, allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then dust it heavily with confectioners’ sugar. Cut it into squares to serve.Yield: 6 to 10 servings

Pros- This came together really quickly. It would be even faster if you use the Texas Toast Bread. Also, the assembly is done the night before so all you have to do is bake the day you are serving it. It is really rich and makes a 9 x 13 pan so it would feed quite a few people.
Cons- If using, you'll need to either make the egg nog bread a couple of days ahead or make it the same day and stale it in the oven.
It really isn't very pretty looking right out of the pan. It does look nice when you top it with a generous amount of confectioners' sugar.

Posted by: Sallie
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Tiffany said...

Oh myyyyy! This sounds yummy!

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